Nova Scotia

Who's found a forever home? All 35 dogs seized from a Wolfville breeder

SPCA officials say the Jack Russell terriers and border colliees that were seized in December have been rehabilitated and officially adopted.

The SPCA seized the dogs in December and they've all been rehabilitated and officially adopted

The SPCA encouraged potential adopters to have quiet homes with children no younger than 16. (Amy Smith/CBC)

SPCA officials say all 35 dogs that were seized from a breeder near Wolfville, N.S., in December have been adopted into their forever homes.

"We knew it was quite a task to ask people to take on dogs who really had a long road ahead of them," said Heather Woodin, the director of programs at the Nova Scotia SPCA.

"And we were just so overwhelmed at the number of wonderful families that were just willing and eager to take on that challenge and really to help rehabilitate and rescue a dog."

More than 300 applications came in for the Jack Russell terriers and border collies.

The dogs were seized by the SPCA on Dec. 10 after enforcement officers found the animals living in "unsanitary conditions."

Jo-Anne Landsburg, the chief provincial inspector for the provincial SPCA, called the property a puppy mill. 

She described the dogs as timid, anxious and "very fearful of humans," with whom they've had little contact. 

The dogs were owned by Karin Robertson. She appealed the seizure on Dec. 30 but it was upheld by the Animal Welfare Appeal Board. 

Woodin said the SPCA started accepting applications from quiet households on Jan. 2 after the seizure was upheld.

Karin Robertson appealed the seizure on Dec. 30 but it was upheld by the Animal Welfare Appeal Board. (Paul Poirier/CBC)

Most of the Jack Russell terriers were adopted shortly after, but the border collies needed some rehabilitation. 

Woodin said the collies were easily overwhelmed by loud noises, often had to be carried to go outside and didn't know how to walk using a leash.

But over the last few weeks, the dogs have worked with a trainer to prepare them for adoption.

As families were selected, they were invited to meet the dogs to learn which would be the best fit. 

"People were incredibly patient," Woodin said. "I know they were very excited — some homes were stopping by everyday, just to sit in the kennel with the dog and to get the dog used to their presence."

The dogs were seized from what the SPCA's chief enforcement inspector has called a 'puppy mill.' (Nova Scotia SPCA — Enforcement/Facebook)

All the dogs were officially adopted earlier this week.

"There is one home that was excited that the dog actually went outside on his own and didn't need to be carried," Woodin said.

"Those small little things are huge milestones for these dogs so they really do seem to be settling in."

Robertson, the breeder, is facing two charges of animal cruelty and is expected to appear in Kentville provincial court on Feb. 18 at 9:30 a.m.

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